Joints and articular cartilage

Optimal functioning of the skeletal joints (hip, shoulder, elbow, hock and stifle) dramatically affects a pet's mobility which, in turn, affects not only the level of activity of the pet, but such routine functions as rising from a sitting position or climbing and descending stairs. While this applies to pets of all ages, it becomes extremely important in older and larger pets.
Articular cartilage plays an important role in optimal joint function by providing a smooth, low friction surface between articulating bone ends while transmitting load forces to the underlying bone.
Why Cosequin?

One of the remarkable functions of articular cartilage is its ability to replenish its major components in response to the mechanical forces placed on it.
Cartilage consists of cells called chondrocytes which synthesize and deposit around themselves a matrix of giant molecules. This extracellular matrix of immense molecules made by chondrocytes gives cartilage its properties of resilience and tensile strength. The matrix consists of collagen and proteoglycans. Collagen, a tough ropy protein that physically connects the tissues, provides the tensile strength of cartilage. Proteoglycans, consist mainly of hyaluronic acid and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The water-structuring properties of the proteoglycans provide the compressive resilience of cartilage.
Cartilage replenishes its major components by manufacturing and remodeling prodigious amounts of collagen and proteoglycans. This constant and ongoing synthesizing process often generates extremely large demands for building blocks of collagen and proteoglycans with production requirements doubling or tripling over normal amounts.

If the raw materials (nutrients) for these building blocks are not available in the amounts required, the synthesizing process is impaired and the cartilage loses its ability to replenish itself.
Cosequin provides the raw materials that are essential for the synthesis of synovial fluid and the complete cartilage matrix including collagen, hyaluronic acid and the various modified sugar chains of the glycosaminoglycans. Cosequin is a true nutraceutical with outstanding safety.
What can I expect using Cosequin?

Since Cosequin provides nutrients, changes may occur more slowly than would be expected with drug compounds. We recommend an initial administration period of six weeks. You should notice changes in three to four weeks in the majority of candidates, but a few candidates may take five to six weeks before noticeable differences are observed. In most cases, you will notice a quicker change in younger animals than older animals. After the initial administration period, dosing can be lowered to a maintenance level which can vary between animals.
Are there any side effects with Cosequin?

Cosequin offers unparalleled safety. Acute oral toxicity tests have been conducted indicating no oral toxicity, and no changes were observed during gross necropsy. The tests indicated an LD-50 greater than 5gm/kg which is the standard for nontoxic substances. In addition, fungal and microbial tests are run on each batch of Cosequin to make sure the product is free of pathogens.
Recommendation as a dietary supplement:

The  Initial Administration Period is 6 Weeks. Most animals should respond within this period. Improvement on Cosequin can range from gradual to dramatic. If the improvement is gradual, it may go unnoticed by the owner. It is therefore important to keep the animal on the loading dose for at least 6 weeks before deciding to discontinue the use of Cosequin. If there is gradual improvement and Cosequin is discontinued, a regression of the animal's status can occur.
Cosequin (Regular Strength)
Initial Administration - 6 weeks
Cats & Dogs: Under 10 lbs. 1/2 - 1 capsule daily
10 - 25 lbs. 2 capsules daily(l in AM; 1 in PM)
Maintenance Administration
Cats and dogs under 10 lbs can often have their dosage reduced by 1/2 capsule daily or 1 capsule every other day. Dogs 10 to 25 lbs. can often have their dosage reduced to 1 capsule daily.
Cosequin DS (Double Strength)
Initial Administration - 6 weeks
Dogs: 25 - 49 lbs. 2 capsules daily (1 in AM; 1 in PM)
50 - 100 lbs. 3 capsules daily (2 AM; 1 in PM)
over 100 lbs.  4 capsules daily (2 in AM; 2 in PM)
Maintenance Administration
Dogs 25 to 49 lbs can often have their total daily dosage lowered in increments of 1/2 capsule per month until maintenance level is reached.
Dogs over 49 lbs can often have their total daily dosage lowered in increments of 1 capsule per month until maintenance level is reached.
Dosage can be increased at any time depending on the pet's needs. If the pet does not respond as well when the dosage is decreased, then return to previous dosage level. Remain on this dosage for an additional month, then try again to gradually reduce dosage. Sometimes an every other day dosage or lowering the dosage by 1/2 capsule rather than one capsule can be successful. Some pets will maintain at a lower dose during the summer months than the winter months. Also activity level can vary the dosage requirements. In times of high physical demand, pets may require more Cosequin.
Cosequin DS double strength can be used on patients under 25 lbs., however, 1/2 capsule increments must be used. For dosing convenience, Cosequin regular strength should be used. Regular strength can also be used for maintenance of dogs weighing 5 to 49 lbs. that maintain below one capsule daily of double strength.
The capsules can be easily pulled apart and the contents sprinkled on the pet's food. Wet or moist food works best as there can be a loss when sprinkled on dry food. As an alternative, the pets can be pilled or the capsules administered by wrapping in a small piece of food such as bread or cheese. Cosequin is palatable to dogs, cats and pet birds.
Can I use Cosequin with other products?

Cosequin is a dietary supplement and can be used alone or with other products. Some practitioners find it convenient to use Cosequin with other standard products.
Can Cosequin be used in species other than dogs and cats?

Yes. There is a powder concentrate, with a different formulation, for use in horses. Nutramax recommends the use of capsules for small animals, and the powder concentrate for horses. Also many zoos are using Cosequin on a variety of birds and exotic species.
Are there any clinical studies being done with Cosequin?

Yes. Nutramax Laboratories is funding clinical studies at leading veterinary colleges with orthopedic specialists.
What is the difference between Cosequin and other Oral Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine Sulfate products?

Cosequin is a patented combination of dietary ingredients of unparalleled purity and each has its own primary function in connective tissue synthesis.
Glucosamine HCI- In addition to being the main substrate for the biosynthesis of glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid, the primary function of glucosamine is to stimulate the secretion of glycosaminoglycans in the articular cartilage.

Chondroltin Sulfate- In addition to being the major glycosaminoglycans found in cartilage, its primary function is to inhibit degradative enzymes. Degradative enzymes contribute to cartilage breakdown.

Manganese- A necessary cofactor in the body for the biosynthesis of glycosaminoglycans.

Ascorbate- It is a necessary cofactor in the body for collagen biosynthesis.
The synergistic effect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate performing their primary functions concurrently, using manganese and ascorbate as cofactors, is what makes Cosequin unique and the only product of its kind. This overall matrix enhancement will over time allow for lower maintenance dosing, thus making Cosequin more economical to use the longer an animal is on the product.
Perhaps the most important consideration when evaluating products such as Cosequin is the willingness of the manufacturer to subject the product to stringent clinical studies and evaluation by major universities and board certified veterinary specialists. We know of no other manufacturer who submits its nutritional products to such stringent study and evaluation.
Where can I purchase Cosequin?

Cosequin capsules are available only from licensed veterinarians. Your veterinarian is best qualified to determine whether your pet is a candidate for Cosequin. Also it is important to have a veterinarian monitor the progress of your pet while using the product.
Nutramax Laboratories Inc.
Veterinary Sciences Division
brochure information.